Monday, May 23, 2016

A Historic View of the Massachusetts State House exhibit

Our current exhibit, A Historic View of the Massachusetts State House, will close at the end of May, so if you haven't had the opportunity to view it in person you have one more week before it goes away. This unique exhibit displays historical images of the construction of the new State House. You can also check out parts of it in our Flickr page.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Alexander Hamilton: the Massachusetts Connection

No historical figure is hotter in the American imagination today than Alexander Hamilton: a hit Broadway show, saved from the brink of being replaced on the $10 bill, and now serving as an unlikely inspiration to some of today’s Republicans in 2016 for his long-ago example of opposing his Federalist Party’s fellow nominee for President in 1800, John Adams.

Hamilton first set foot on the North American Continent in October of 1772 right here in Boston after sailing from his birthplace, Nevis, in the British West Indies. While he quickly made his way to New York to begin his studies at King’s College (later to become Columbia University), Hamilton was greatly influenced in his beliefs by the protests he witnessed against excessive British authority taking place in Faneuil Hall during his stay in Boston. Hamilton’s lasting impact in Massachusetts ranges from his namesake town on the North Shore founded in 1793, the 26th governor of Massachusetts, Alexander Hamilton Bullock, who was named after him, as well as the impressive memorial granite sculpture by artist William Rimmer that was erected in 1865 that can still be found at the entrance to the Commonwealth Avenue Mall at Arlington Street.

The State Library of Massachusetts has a rich and eclectic collection of works on and by Hamilton ranging from an 1865 reprint of the original Federalist, numerous biographical works including a so-called “dramatized” biography (The Conqueror by Gertrude Atherton), complete sets of Hamilton’s compiled works, and even a fascinating pamphlet chronicling the Burr-Hamilton duel that eventually took Hamilton’s life in 1804. In his short 49 years, Hamilton left a legacy that still lives on in the United States of today.

Judith Carlstrom
Technical Services

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Monday, May 2, 2016

May Author Talk: Dr. James J. O'Connell

Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor by James J. O’Connell 
Wednesday, May 11, 2016—Noon to 1:00pm
State Library of Massachusetts—Room 341, 
Massachusetts State House

The State Library of Massachusetts is pleased to invite you to an Author Talk with James J. O’Connell, M.D., on Wednesday, May 11. Dr. O’Connell, author of Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor, will speak about his work providing health care services to the homeless population of Boston for over 30 years.

Dr. O’Connell is one of the founding physicians of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, started in 1985 with the goal to provide clinical services to homeless men, women, and children. This program now serves over 12,000 homeless people each year in Boston. Throughout his extraordinary career serving this often marginalized population, Dr. O’Connell has written essays, never intending to be published, chronicling the humanity and courage of those living a life on the streets. These essays have now been compiled and published as Stories from the Shadows, a book which, according to its foreword, “instantly and irrevocably transports you into a fascinating universe of individuals usually invisible to us … The riveting stories presented here capture each life in such moving and vivid detail that you will be forever changed.”

Dr. O’Connell’s talk is free and open to the public, and copies of Stories from the Shadows will be available for purchase and signing at the event. Please register online and join us May 11 at the State Library.

Laura Schaub
Cataloging Librarian